altLegally Kidnapped: The Case Against Child Protective Services by Carlos Morales (Amazon Digital Services, 2014)

Legally Kidnapped is probably good for any parent to read who either (1) has childrearing philosophies and/or practices that differ at all from the current norm, or (2) thinks they might at some point tick off a family member, friend, or neighbor.  There are frightening abuses taking place under the authority of Child Protective Services (name varies by state), where vulnerable children are ripped away from their families for days, months, or years, and for no reason other than ignorance and reasonable philosophical differences.  The author says, and I believe him, that "children are much more likely to be kidnapped by State workers than by strangers."

It happened here just a few months ago, basically because the mother was a vegan.  A doctor friend in New York told me (without names, of course) of testifying in favor of a family whose children had been taken from them:  the excuse was an infected cut, but he said the real reason was the animosity of the social worker to the family's religion.  And it's not just in the United States:  Germany and Sweden have separated children from their families simply because they were being educated at home.  It is a problem, and Carlos Morales, a former CPS agent who knows the system from the inside, offers some helpful information to educate, inform, and assist parents who might find themselves at risk.  Some of the most important:  record (preferably video) all encounters and interviews, never let your children be interviewed alone, always be calm and polite.

That's the good news.  Sadly, I can't really recommend the book.  The author, perhaps driven by guilt because of his former complicity, is too strident and extreme.  He could have used some of his own advice about being calm and polite.  Also, the book is replete with basic punctuation and typographical errors, which rightly or not steal credibility from its message.

Still, if anyone wants to glean what is good, it's short (95 pages), the price is reasonable ($2.99 Kindle price on Amazon, and I got it free when they were running a special), and Amazon tells me that I can lend my Kindle copy out one time for 14 days at no charge.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Edit
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